Friday, September 26, 2014

The Trials Of Strife

This was one of the hardest things I've worked on, and not only because of animation. It is the product of a very small team of artists reaching beyond their own limits and growing quite a bit. I can honestly say that I don't like much of my own work in it but I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish here. I hope I have the opportunity for more cinematic work in the future, and push even further.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


I did it! Fuckin A, I did it! And these last two were so easy to do and fun! I really need to do this a lot more. It's so freeing to just straight ahead animate. I am definitely going to try to work some of this into my CG workflow from here on out. It really helps to get the idea out faster and hopefully, it will help me wrestle with the software less (DAMN YOU 3DS MAX! I will defeat you!).

Also, HUGE THANK YOU! To everyone who has commented, favorited and watched these posts, sincere thanks to every one of you!

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Almost to the end! What!?! When did that happen?

I think I may try to continue something like this for as long as I can. It will definitely not be as intense a challenge, but I think I want to try to do something like an animation per week, and include CG too. That way I can do some longer tests and actually give myself time to fix the things that go wrong with a first pass of animation. Anyway, here's August 30's animation. Back to real pencils by the way.

Friday, August 29, 2014


This was a super quick on my tablet. I only spent about 30 minutes or so on it. I had a nice loooong day at work today so I barely had anything left by the time I got home. But the good news is Strife is now officially in open beta! And our very first cinematic was released! Check out if you get a chance!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


A quick one and I might actually be in bed before midnight tonight! WHAAAAT!?! 


Battle Bob shows his true nature in this one. I learned that I don't know how to do a proper stagger. There are just so many things you can sort of stumble your way through in CG that just can't be done in 2D without prior knowledge or planning. Learning! Learning! Learning!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Man, animating on paper is difficult... and time intensive! PLAN! PLAN! PLAN! I started this one on paper and had to test it in flipbook to see why it wasn't working, so I ended up just working in that. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


This was really fun. The result isn't all I wanted it to be but I love drawing this guy, and because I kind of know his shapes he's very easy to keep loose while drawing. I left all the notes in mostly because I didn't know how to hide them.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


I did a couple stopmo tests tonight for Animating August. I wish I had prepared a little better but they were fun anyway.

Friday, August 22, 2014


 Just a quick little lady bug tonight. I will most likely return to this tomorrow with more animation to add to the end of shot. I can already see a ton of stuff to fix to!


This was fun. I used Digicel Flipbook. I've been trying to do follow along with some Jason Ryan tutorials. I wish I had budgeted more time so I could in-between it, but it is what it is.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Happy Birthday Pop!

Well digicel flipbook runs like junk on my machine, but it's pretty on my work pc, so maybe I'll use it there for tests and stuff. I'm going through some of Jason Ryan's free stuff, and I just wanted it to be as easy as he makes it look. Sadly, I don't have his 20 years of experience so my shot took quite a bit longer. I need to keep pushing for the looser cartoony drawings. They just feel so much better to me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


So this is going much better tonight. It's still rough but the timing and poses feel much better. I started over from scratch and that is almost always a good way to go when you're stuck on a shot.

Monday, August 18, 2014


I'm not sure if I'm getting better or worse. This is a pencil test of a cycle I'm doing for a friend's game. I attempted to fix it in Digicel Flipbook (now that I got it working) and I don't think I made it any better. Time to hunker down tomorrow and figure this stuff out.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


This one confirms what I've always thought; I don't actually know anything about animating, I just get lucky sometimes. I'm kind of joking... kind of. But there are some definite shortcomings in my work. I may take another shot at this just to try to understand why it isn't working. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Cutman from Megaman. I always loved this guy's design. He has scissors on his head and gigantic ears. And as a bonus, his voice in the cartoon was a Peter Lorre impression. What an absurd character.


Happy Birffday Mum!

I finally finished it... Well, relatively finished. I think I was able to get it to look a little better by removing some of the problem frames at the beginning, and I'm actually pretty happy with the ending. Still a ton to learn from this one though. Lot's of missteps. MORE PLANNING!!!

Friday, August 15, 2014


Almost Through This One.

I think it's getting a little worse actually. I can see him growing by the time he stops. I thought it was going pretty good until now. This is a learning process, so I guess mistakes are good. I think the timing was okay in the beginning but the spacing got away from me. I'm still going to finish the end up (see the post from August 12) and maybe retool some of the poses. It just feels so damned even. Also if anyone has any advice I'd greatly appreciate it.


I want to say, Happy Birthday to my sister Brandy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Still pushing this test. I haven't gotten to the end yet. I can only do about 2 hours a night and I throw out a LOT of drawings so this one is going to take a while. I might switch gears tomorrow and come back to this on the weekend... I might just keep going. Who knows?


No youtube link this time. I don't want to put it up on my channel until it's a little more finished. Probably not cleaned up, but fully animated is what I'm thinking.

This is a short timing test. I am going to keep working on this one over the next couple of days. I didn't fill out an X-sheet but I did spend time thinking and planning the timing for a bit. I think it shows. The timing feels pretty good so far and I'm excited to have a road map to work from. It's a nice contrast to the hit-the-ground-running-style I do at work. I need to slow down and think about this stuff so it doesn't become a headache down the road.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


This was a rough one. The drawings just weren't coming for quite a while. They started a little bit but still not as much as I'd like. It's been fun though. Some stuff I figured out and some I haven't yet. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Wow. 10 days straight. It's oddly been a bit easier to on these than I thought it would be. I have to say though, I do find it more difficult to work on these on the weekends because I just want to spend my leisure time with my wife and dog and friends. It kind of reminds me of when I was in animation mentor, except that I don't have any mandatory deadlines, so I give in to excuses and laziness more easily. As you can see I didn't put too much time into this one. I just went for quick and dirty. A friend of mine was encouraging me to just rough them out and move on, which is probably what I'll do when I draw out planning for my CG or stopmo work, but I'm not sure that I'm 100% pleased with it for this project. I did however do a much better smear in this one than the ones I attempted before.  

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Just a quickie tonight. My wife and I spent all day at the Disney family museum, which was awesome by way, so I had to squeeze this one in. This was done in Animation Creator on my iPod touch

Friday, August 8, 2014


So this was my first attempt at a smear frame. The character is a WIP of mine called Battle Bob. He may make other appearances here. 


This test was not my favorite but I don't hate it. I wish I had put more character into her pose... well, into her character in general I suppose. And there's definitely some pops in the cycle.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


So I went back through and started breaking this down. It was harder than I thought it would be, and took longer, but I still enjoyed it just as much as I did the other day. It's just a stupid run! I've done dozens of these in CG! Why is this so much damn fun!?! I am a new animator today. I think I will be doing 2D tests for all of my main CG work from here on out, Jason Ryan style. It's so much more enjoyable and it's very freeing. I think for one of these I want to try and pre-time it on an x-sheet like Eric Goldberg talks about in his book.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Nothing much to explain. I did this on my Nexus tablet with a Bamboo stylus. I wish it looped a bit better but oh well. I think tomorrow will get back to the run from yesterday. I may do some more with the whale guy. I just love drawing him. Here's an idea of what he looks like:

This was my first attempt at coloring him so it's just a rough drawing. I'm still debating whether his fin comes off of his head or his back. His clothing and tattoos are unfinished as well. I thought I'd post him for reference. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014


So this one was a ton of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've done a run or two at my day job so for the most part the mechanics were pretty familiar. I may spend some time tomorrow breaking it down a little more. I want to keep doing character stuff but anything acting wise is going to take a LOT of time to work out. I think for the month I will probably just keep anything character-wise pretty damn simple like this, but I intend to do more drawn animation tests like this past the month of August, even if it's only quick tests before I go into 3d. It's just more fun this way.


I did this pretty quickly using the Animation Desk app on my Nexus tablet. I don't have the full app yet so I couldn't do the red layout lines on a separate layer. Also it's the first time I've used it so I was having trouble with crashing and such. I wish I'd had more time today to do this on paper, but whatever.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


So this is pretty basic. I've animated a bouncing ball a couple of times in 2D but I thought it would be a good way to warm up to Animating August, and I kind of wanted to see how this was going to work. Plus you can never do the basics too much, right? I actually had started planning a MUCH more complicated shot but I thought I needed to test the waters a bit to see what I can accomplish. The first few may be a little basic looking while I feel things out.

Some lessons I learned are; I need to plan & thumbnail a lot more; Animating gets a lot more fun when you start to play with shapes; KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! I need to keep this in mind, especially since this was just a ball bounce and I let it get to 30ish frames. PLAN PLAN PLAN!!! Finally, I really had fun at the end once the legs came out. The bouncing ball can only entertain someone so long. Simplicity should not supersede a challenge just to get something done.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Animating August

I really ignore this thing, huh? Well I'm going to try something here. tl;dr For the month of August I am going to attempt an animation per day... Traditional animation none the less! 

I have been wanting to do traditional hand draw animation for as long as I can remember. I think now is as good a time as any. No more hoping for an opportunity to learn it. No more thinking about how will it help me find work. No more pining over cool equipment or software thinking, "if only I could get that, then I would be able to be the artist I want to be." This is just me drawing and animating for the fun of it. Which is something I just don't do often enough.

I'm not sure why I don't animate or draw as much as I'd like to. I suppose part of it is fear of not producing something of value, or not achieving the look of really good professional work, or artwork that I admire, and I'm sure part of the reason is probably some laziness. Combine that with the hurdles of CG; always having to have a rig for what you want to do, the limitations of that rig, the limitations of my technical skills at this point, the sterility of the computer environment, etc. It all adds up to just enough to give me an excuse to not animate. And that fucking sucks!

I have been starting to draw more lately just for fun and it feels great. I always wanted drawing to be a part of my life. It's such a huge part of who I am and who I've always been, and I haven't made it enough of a priority in my life. I've tried doing exercises from tutorials, sites and books, I listen to advice from all my favorite artists, hell, I've even taken classes with artists I admire, but none of it has had the same impact as just putting down my thoughts into a sketchbook a couple times a week. I want to make that a part of my life every day. Fun drawing, not just plain practicing.

I'm so stoked to try this out and draw a bunch. I've already ordered my animation lightbox
And I've got a pegbar and some punched paper. I intend to keep the animations manageable by keeping them to about 12-24 images, probably on 2s or so, unless I'm just particularly inspired to do more. Some will also probably be all digital based on what I have access to at the time. For digital, I will most likely do them on my nexus tablet with a Wacom Bamboo stylus, and try out a few different softwares. I don't plan on cleaning them up too much or coloring them, again, unless I'm particularly inspired to, or maybe if some of them are good, I may do some cleanup later.

To me the whole goal is just to have fun and live up to the name of this blog, i.e. make my drawings live. 

Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Beginning the Journey

This is a doodle I did on a plane ride the other day. Battle Bob is a character I've been toying with for a few weeks now.